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By: MIKE CONLEY | McDowell News Published: March 21, 2012

The Marion City Council granted permission Tuesday for an Internet provider to install a fiber optic cable along the city’s rights-of-way. When installed, the cable would carry broadband Internet through McDowell and connect with local schools, health care providers and governments. At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the City Council met with Hunter Goosmann, general manager of ERC Broadband in Asheville. ERC is a nonprofit provider seeking to expand broadband Internet through western North Carolina. Goosmann told city officials that ERC Broadband plans to install a fiber optic cable running from Spruce Pine to Nebo. It could someday go all the way to Boone. The cable will carry broadband Internet service and will connect with schools, health care providers and government services, both state and local. Companies that provide Internet service for a profit to individual homes and businesses would be able to use this cable, too, said Goosmann. “We can support the city of Marion and the county,” he told The McDowell News Wednesday. “We are also an open network. We are working with all these groups to provide competitive options to McDowell County.” The installation of the cable is expected to start sometime later this spring or early summer. But Goosmann needed to ask city officials to grant ERC Broadband an encroachment on the city’s rights-of-way. He has already gotten permission from the N.C. Department of Transportation for its rights-of-way and will need a similar one from the U.S. Forest Service. The proposed cable will enter the city of Marion on Fleming Avenue and continue along Robert Street on the Marion Elementary side. It will continue on Robert Street and McDowell Avenue and proceed onto East Court Street. It will eventually travel along U.S. 70 to Nebo. Goosmann said the project is made possible through federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It is also a sub-recipient of MCNC, which is a nonprofit organization that provides technical infrastructure to promote education and economic development in North Carolina. After hearing Goosmann’s request, council agreed unanimously to grant the encroachment. In other business, the Marion City Council: -- Talked more about requests for sewer connections in Glenwood. GraysonEnglandis asking the city for sewer-only connections for a five-unit apartment building, owned by his parents, and the former L&R Country Store, both located on Old U.S. 221 South. City officials are also hearing requests for sewer-only connections for a new duplex apartment building under construction and a single family home, both owned by Dean and Betsy Moore. The city’s Utility Committee has talked with England about these requests and is waiting for more information before making a recommendation. The committee is comprised of Mayor Steve Little, Councilwoman Juanita Doggett and Councilman Billy Martin. -- Approved the contract forOakGroveCemeterymowing. The city will hire Miller Landscaping and Lawn Care at a rate of $760 a week to mow and trim the weeds at the cemetery. Likewise, the council approved the contract for mowing of the street rights-of-way. The city will hire Appalachian Grounds Management to do the work for a rate of $1,175 a week. -- Approved the purchase of VIPER radios for the Marion Fire Department at a greatly reduced price. Council

3/21/2012 9:05 PM


Marion City Council approves installing broadband Internet cable | McD...

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http://www2.mcdowellnews.com/news/2012/mar/21/marion-city-council...

met with Fire Chief Jim Neal about the radios, which will be purchased thanks to a federal grant for firefighters. City Manager Bob Boyette said the radios will be bought at a price of $400 each. They usually cost $2,500 each. -- Agreed to sell a small piece of city-owned property on Meadow Lane to Ray Broome at a price of $1,000. The property covers just one-tenth of an acre. The sale will be subject to the upset bid process before it becomes final. Recommend

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Cary News | Low­income students become 'digital connectors' for their neighborhoods                                                                                                            Page 1 of 2 

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Published: Mar 04, 2012 04:11 AM Modified: Mar 04, 2012 04:11 AM

Low-income students become 'digital connectors' for their neighborhoods FROM STAFF REPORTS RALEIGH - The city's effort to bring technology to residents lacking Internet connection has

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some new allies: students. The free Digital Connectors program allows

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participants are expected to teach 900 community members how to use computers and the Internet. Kellner: 919-829-4802

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community members how to use computers and the Internet. Kellner: 919-829-4802

Cary News | Low­income students become 'digital connectors' for their neighborhoods                                                                                                            Page 2 of 2 

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SOURCE: Raleigh (NC) News & Observer AUDIENCE: 541,069 [provided by Nielsen//NetRatings] DATE: 03−04−2012 HEADLINE: Low−income students become 'digital connectors' for their neighborhoods − Technology − NewsObserver.com Source Website Published Sun, Mar 04, 2012 03:54 AM Modified Sat, Mar 03, 2012 09:21 PM Low−income students become 'digital connectors' for their neighborhoods From staff reports The News and Observer RALEIGH −−The city's effort to bring technology to residents lacking Internet connection has some new allies: students. The free Digital Connectors program allows students ages 14 to 21 from low−income households to receive in−depth computer training while also taking classes on entrepreneurship, healthy living and career and character development. "We're teaching them 21st century skills they may not get otherwise," program manager Linda Jones said. During the program at the Saint Monica Teen Center learning lab on Tarboro Street near downtown, students learn to use computers, take them apart and refurbish them for families without computer access. They are charged with taking their knowledge home and spreading it to family and friends. Students can apply to openings advertised on the city website,RaleighNC.gov. The program is scheduled to run through May. The program's corporate partners, AT&T Pioneers, Cisco, MCNC, Microsoft and SAS, also send in professionals for talks about education and careers. By the end of the program, students can network a computer lab, connect wireless access points and create video documentaries. They are required to complete 56 hours of community service as well − Raleigh's first 60 participants are expected to teach 900 community members how to use computers and the Internet. Kellner: 919−829−4802 (c) Copyright 2012, The News & Observer Publishing Company A subsidiary of The McClatchy Company Highlights: NC, NORTH CAROLINA, MCNC

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In searching the publicly accessible web, we found a webpage of interest and provide a snapshot of it below. Please be advised that this page, and any images or links in it, may have changed since we created this snapshot. For your convenience, we provide a hyperlink to the current webpage as part of our service.

BalsamWest withdraws offer for Metrostat system                                                                                                                                                                     Page 1 of 3 

March 8, 2012 Edition Sylva, NC Volume 86, No. 51

BalsamWest withdraws offer for Metrostat system By Nick Breedlove The future of the former Metrostat Communications network remains unclear. Local officials had two offers on the table Tuesday morning for all or part of Metrostat’s assets, which the county and town of Sylva acquired after Metrostat defaulted on two municipal loans. The partial offer came from Chalet Inn owner George Ware, who offered the county $10,000 for the Kings Mountain tower that had provided his business with wireless Internet until Metrostat ceased operations in December. The second, a Feb. 20 proposal from BalsamWest FiberNet released to The Herald Tuesday morning, offered $50,000 for all of Metrostat’s assets, though the town and county would receive no money for five years. That offer was withdrawn Tuesday afternoon, according to county Manager Chuck Wooten. The draft proposal had not been signed off on by either BalsamWest or town and county government officials. In explaining the decision to rescind the offer, BalsamWest CEO Cecil Groves told the Herald Tuesday afternoon they “did a risk vs. reward assessment on the quality of Metrostat’s fiber network,” and “it just wasn’t as feasible as we had hoped it would be.” “I’m afraid the expectation level of what it is and what it can do for the region presents a problem,” Groves said. Wooten asked Tuesday afternoon whether BalsamWest could provide more money up front but was told that would be impossible because all of BW’s current capital is committed to existing projects. Metrostat owner John Kevlin cited two reasons for his company going out of business: bad economy and the fact that their business mode was “destroyed” when BalsamWest came into town. BalsamWest initially said they were building the “middle mile,” Kevlin said in an interview in November. “If they had built the middle mile, they would have served me,” he said. However, BalsamWest ended up doing the “last mile,” and offering services directly to end users, he said. Sylva and Jackson County leaders accepted Metrostat’s infrastructure, which was the collateral on the two loans totaling roughly $500,000, in lieu of foreclosure. In its now-rescinded offer to purchase the fiber, BalsamWest said it would do the following: – Provide wireless service to former Metrostat customers at a reasonable cost and improved quality of service. – Upgrade the existing Metrostat wireless network; make necessary electronic and fiber connections and upgrades to establish a fiber optic-based network featuring Internet and VOIP along or near N.C. 107 and connector roads (N.C. 116 and Business 23) within Sylva city limits. – Where businesses are out of range of fiber, make an effort to reach them with copper or microwave Internet. – Work with Jackson County and surrounding communities, as appropriate and as needed, in assisting with economic development efforts by working with existing enterprises to facilitate their growth in telecommunication and for the attraction of new technology and telecommunications enterprises offering quality employment opportunities for local residents. BalsamWest had proposed delaying their $50,000 payment five years to allow time to merge Metrostat’s network with BalsamWest’s and provide time to win former Metrostat customers’ business and “generate sufficient revenue” to justify the activation. BW would deduct $5,000 per year for maintenance of the network, leaving five $5,000 payments for all of Metrostat’s assets.

http://www.thesylvaherald.com/html/balsamwest_withdraws_offer_for.html

BalsamWest’s proposal says the majority of former Metrostat customers have already signed contracts with other communication providers and there is “little chance to develop a revenue stream from the infrastructure in less than 12 months.”

3/9/2012


Wooten asked Tuesday afternoon whether BalsamWest could provide more money up front but was told that would be impossible because all of BW’s current capital is committed to existing projects. Metrostat owner John Kevlin cited two reasons for his company going out of business: bad economy and the fact that their business mode was “destroyed” when BalsamWest came into town.

BalsamWest withdraws offer for Metrostat system                                                                                                                                                                     Page 2 of 3  BalsamWest initially said they were building the “middle mile,” Kevlin said in an interview in November. “If they had built the middle mile, they would have served me,” he said. However, BalsamWest ended up doing the “last mile,” and offering services directly to end users, he said. Sylva and Jackson County leaders accepted Metrostat’s infrastructure, which was the collateral on the two loans totaling roughly $500,000, in lieu of foreclosure. In its now-rescinded offer to purchase the fiber, BalsamWest said it would do the following: – Provide wireless service to former Metrostat customers at a reasonable cost and improved quality of service. – Upgrade the existing Metrostat wireless network; make necessary electronic and fiber connections and upgrades to establish a fiber optic-based network featuring Internet and VOIP along or near N.C. 107 and connector roads (N.C. 116 and Business 23) within Sylva city limits. – Where businesses are out of range of fiber, make an effort to reach them with copper or microwave Internet. – Work with Jackson County and surrounding communities, as appropriate and as needed, in assisting with economic development efforts by working with existing enterprises to facilitate their growth in telecommunication and for the attraction of new technology and telecommunications enterprises offering quality employment opportunities for local residents. BalsamWest had proposed delaying their $50,000 payment five years to allow time to merge Metrostat’s network with BalsamWest’s and provide time to win former Metrostat customers’ business and “generate sufficient revenue” to justify the activation. BW would deduct $5,000 per year for maintenance of the network, leaving five $5,000 payments for all of Metrostat’s assets. BalsamWest’s proposal says the majority of former Metrostat customers have already signed contracts with other communication providers and there is “little chance to develop a revenue stream from the infrastructure in less than 12 months.” BalsamWest also listed a number of concerns in its now-rescinded offer, including: – BalsamWest has limited knowledge of the existing condition of the fiber. The fiber has not been maintained and could have already been subjected to fiber cuts. – The fiber does not form a redundant loop. – N.C. 116 from Webster to N.C. 107 to U.S. 23/74 has already been over built by BalsamWest and (is) of little value. – BalsamWest has little knowledge of the condition of the electronics. – Additional fiber construction will be required for connectivity of any customer connected to Metrostat fiber and to restore wireless service to the Kings Mountain tower. – BW has no knowledge pertaining to the approval or authenticity of any legal documents related to NCDOT rights of way approvals or Duke Energy pole attachments. – BW has a concern related to any negative public perception the transaction might create related to the connection to public monies. BW has been operated entirely with private funds from Drake and the Eastern Band. In a Tuesday e-mail, Wooten said he’d rather sell the former Metrostat’s entire system. “My preference all along has been to sell the assets as a whole, but we may need to break them up to improve the bottom line,” Wooten said. “BW has fiber within 40 feet of the Metrostat fiber that runs to Kings Mountain, so they could provide a connection and Internet service to the Kings Mountain location, if we can work out a deal. The Chalet Inn paid Metrostat $50 per month for their service so I’m confident the monthly cost will be much greater considering the tower ground lease is $500 per month.” Wooten said during Monday’s commissioners’ meeting he had been informed by Sylva town Manager Mike Morgan that Frontier Communications, which was expected to submit a proposal for the infrastructure, would not do so. Tuesday, Morgan told the Herald that Frontier told him they “just couldn’t make the numbers work.” When asked Tuesday about whether $50,000 was a fair asking price, Commissioners’ Chairman Jack Debnam said, “Honestly, no – but what else have we got?” http://www.thesylvaherald.com/html/balsamwest_withdraws_offer_for.html Debnam said he didn’t believe commissioners would take BalsamWest’s offer “at face value,” and

3/9/2012


location, if we can work out a deal. The Chalet Inn paid Metrostat $50 per month for their service so I’m confident the monthly cost will be much greater considering the tower ground lease is $500 per month.” Wooten said during Monday’s commissioners’ meeting he had been informed by Sylva town Manager

BalsamWest withdraws offer for Metrostat system                                                                                                                                                                     Page 3 of 3  Mike Morgan that Frontier Communications, which was expected to submit a proposal for the infrastructure, would not do so. Tuesday, Morgan told the Herald that Frontier told him they “just couldn’t make the numbers work.” When asked Tuesday about whether $50,000 was a fair asking price, Commissioners’ Chairman Jack Debnam said, “Honestly, no – but what else have we got?” Debnam said he didn’t believe commissioners would take BalsamWest’s offer “at face value,” and there would be more negotiating. Metrostat’s loan from the county came from its revolving loan fund, which has a poor track record. Only a few of its loans have been satisfied in full because most of the businesses that have received loans have failed, leaving the county holding little or no collateral to satisfy those loans. Kevlin told The Herald in November that the value of Metrostat’s fiber is in excess of $3 million. However, John Killebrew of Raleigh-based MCNC said buying fiber today costs about $750 per strand mile, and fiber can have multiple strands. It’s unknown how many strands Metrostat’s fiber is, but using 24 strands as an estimate and multiplying 24 strands times $750 yields a per mile cost of $18,000. Multiplying that per-mile cost times Metrostat’s around 10 miles of fiber yields a value closer to $180,000, which would be the price for such fiber in perfect condition, Killebrew said. According to Killebrew, that number however, can change depending on a number of factors. “There are places where fiber is worth $1,000 (a strand mile), and you may find a area of fiber is worth $400-$500 a strand mile,” he said. “I believe what fiber is worth has a lot to do with the opportunity that may be there in the area those fibers are in.”

Site Contents Copyright © 2012 The Sylva Herald Unless otherwise noted. Usage of site signifies acceptance of our terms of use. Need to report a problem? Comments/Suggestions? Click here.

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3/9/2012


SOURCE: WSOC−TV Channel 9 (Charlotte, NC) AUDIENCE: 337,392 [provided by Nielsen//NetRatings] DATE: 03−22−2012 HEADLINE: Marion City Council approves installing broadband Internet cable Source Website

Posted: 10:07 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, 2012 Marion City Council approves installing broadband Internet cable McDowell News MARION, N.C. " The Marion City Council granted permission Tuesday for an Internet provider to install a fiber optic cable along the city (TM)s rights−of−way. When installed, the cable would carry broadband Internet through McDowell and connect with local schools, health care providers and governments. At Tuesday (TM)s regular meeting, the City Council met with Hunter Goosmann, general manager of ERC Broadband in Asheville. ERC is a nonprofit provider seeking to expand broadband Internet through western North Carolina. Goosmann told city officials that ERC Broadband plans to install a fiber optic cable running from Spruce Pine to Nebo. It could someday go all the way to Boone. The cable will carry broadband Internet service and will connect with schools, health care providers and government services, both state and local. Companies that provide Internet service for a profit to individual homes and businesses would be able to use this cable, too, said Goosmann. "We can support the city of Marion and the county, " he told The McDowell News Wednesday. "We are also an open network. We are working with all these groups to provide competitive options to McDowell County. " The installation of the cable is expected to start sometime later this spring or early summer. But Goosmann needed to ask city officials to grant ERC Broadband an encroachment on the city (TM)s rights−of−way. He has already gotten permission from the N.C. Department of Transportation for its rights−of−way and will need a similar one from the U.S. Forest Service. The proposed cable will enter the city of Marion on Fleming Avenue and continue along Robert Street on the Marion Elementary side. It will continue on Robert Street and McDowell Avenue and proceed onto East Court Street. It will eventually travel along U.S. 70 to Nebo. Goosmann said the project is made possible through federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It is also a sub−recipient of MCNC, which is a nonprofit organization that provides technical infrastructure to promote education and economic development in North Carolina. After hearing Goosmann (TM)s request, council agreed unanimously to grant the encroachment. In other business, the Marion City Council: −− Talked more about requests for sewer connections in Glenwood. GraysonEnglandis asking the city for sewer−only connections for a five−unit apartment building, owned by his parents, and the former L&R Country Store, both located on Old U.S. 221 South. City officials are also hearing requests for sewer−only 1


connections for a new duplex apartment building under construction and a single family home, both owned by Dean and Betsy Moore. The city (TM)s Utility Committee has talked with England about these requests and is waiting for more information before making a recommendation. The committee is comprised of Mayor Steve Little, Councilwoman Juanita Doggett and Councilman Billy Martin. −− Approved the contract forOakGroveCemeterymowing. The city will hire Miller Landscaping and Lawn Care at a rate of $760 a week to mow and trim the weeds at the cemetery. Likewise, the council approved the contract for mowing of the street rights−of−way. The city will hire Appalachian Grounds Management to do the work for a rate of $1,175 a week. −− Approved the purchase of VIPER radios for the Marion Fire Department at a greatly reduced price. Council met with Fire Chief Jim Neal about the radios, which will be purchased thanks to a federal grant for firefighters. City Manager Bob Boyette said the radios will be bought at a price of $400 each. They usually cost $2,500 each. −− Agreed to sell a small piece of city−owned property on Meadow Lane to Ray Broome at a price of $1,000. The property covers just one−tenth of an acre. The sale will be subject to the upset bid process before it becomes final.

(c) 2012 Cox Media Group. By using this website, you accept the terms of our Visitor Agreement and Highlights: NC, NORTH CAROLINA, N.C, North Carolina, MCNC

2


SOURCE: McDowell News (Marion,NC) AUDIENCE: 13,605 [provided by Nielsen//NetRatings] DATE: 03−22−2012 HEADLINE: Marion City Council approves installing broadband Internet cable Source Website

Marion City Council approves installing broadband Internet cable By:Mike Conley McDowell News Published: March 21, 2012 Updated: March 21, 2012 − 4:50 PM Comments Post a Comment The Marion City Council granted permission Tuesday for an Internet provider to install a fiber optic cable along the city (TM)s rights−of−way. When installed, the cable would carry broadband Internet through McDowell and connect with local schools, health care providers and governments. At Tuesday (TM)s regular meeting, the City Council met with Hunter Goosmann, general manager of ERC Broadband in Asheville. ERC is a nonprofit provider seeking to expand broadband Internet through western North Carolina. Goosmann told city officials that ERC Broadband plans to install a fiber optic cable running from Spruce Pine to Nebo. It could someday go all the way to Boone. The cable will carry broadband Internet service and will connect with schools, health care providers and government services, both state and local. Companies that provide Internet service for a profit to individual homes and businesses would be able to use this cable, too, said Goosmann. "We can support the city of Marion and the county, " he told The McDowell News Wednesday. "We are also an open network. We are working with all these groups to provide competitive options to McDowell County. " The installation of the cable is expected to start sometime later this spring or early summer. But Goosmann needed to ask city officials to grant ERC Broadband an encroachment on the city (TM)s rights−of−way. He has already gotten permission from the N.C. Department of Transportation for its rights−of−way and will need a similar one from the U.S. Forest Service. The proposed cable will enter the city of Marion on Fleming Avenue and continue along Robert Street on the Marion Elementary side. It will continue on Robert Street and McDowell Avenue and proceed onto East Court Street. It will eventually travel along U.S. 70 to Nebo. Goosmann said the project is made possible through federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It is also a sub−recipient of MCNC, which is a nonprofit organization that provides technical infrastructure to promote education and economic development in North Carolina. After hearing Goosmann (TM)s request, council agreed unanimously to grant the encroachment. In other business, the Marion City Council: 1


−− Talked more about requests for sewer connections in Glenwood. GraysonEnglandis asking the city for sewer−only connections for a five−unit apartment building, owned by his parents, and the former L&R Country Store, both located on Old U.S. 221 South. City officials are also hearing requests for sewer−only connections for a new duplex apartment building under construction and a single family home, both owned by Dean and Betsy Moore. The city (TM)s Utility Committee has talked with England about these requests and is waiting for more information before making a recommendation. The committee is comprised of Mayor Steve Little, Councilwoman Juanita Doggett and Councilman Billy Martin. −− Approved the contract forOakGroveCemeterymowing. The city will hire Miller Landscaping and Lawn Care at a rate of $760 a week to mow and trim the weeds at the cemetery. Likewise, the council approved the contract for mowing of the street rights−of−way. The city will hire Appalachian Grounds Management to do the work for a rate of $1,175 a week. −− Approved the purchase of VIPER radios for the Marion Fire Department at a greatly reduced price. Council met with Fire Chief Jim Neal about the radios, which will be purchased thanks to a federal grant for firefighters. City Manager Bob Boyette said the radios will be bought at a price of $400 each. They usually cost $2,500 each. −− Agreed to sell a small piece of city−owned property on Meadow Lane to Ray Broome at a price of $1,000. The property covers just one−tenth of an acre. The sale will be subject to the upset bid process before it becomes final. Highlights: NC, NORTH CAROLINA, North Carolina, N.C, MCNC

2


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FROM STAFF REPORTS RALEIGH -- The city's effort to bring technology to residents lacking Internet connection has some new allies: students. The free Digital Connectors program allows students ages 14 to 21 from low-income households to receive in-depth computer training while also taking classes on entrepreneurship, healthy living and career and character development. "We're teaching them 21st century skills they may not get otherwise," program manager Linda Jones said. During the program at the Saint Monica Teen Center learning lab on Tarboro Street near downtown, students learn to use computers, take them apart and refurbish them for families without computer access. They are charged with taking their knowledge home and spreading it to family and friends. Students can apply to openings advertised on the city website, RaleighNC.gov. The program is scheduled to run through May. The program's corporate partners, AT&T Pioneers, Cisco, MCNC, Microsoft and SAS, also send in professionals for talks about education and careers. By the end of the program, students can network a computer lab, connect wireless access points and create video documentaries. They are required to complete 56 hours of community service as well - Raleigh's first 60 participants are expected to teach 900 community members how to use computers and the Internet. Kellner: 919-829-4802 Get the biggest news in your email or cellphone as it's happening. Sign up for breaking news alerts.

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